Johnny Depp in 'Fantastic Beasts': How series differs from 'Harry Potter'

Depp will reportedly star in the 'Fantastic' series. While plenty was known about the 'Potter' story before the books made the jump to the big screen, the 'Fantastic' series is shrouded in secrecy.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Johnny Depp arrives at the LA premiere of 'Transcendence' in Los Angeles. Mr. Depp has reportedly been cast in the 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' movie series.

Actor Johnny Depp is joining the magical world of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and because of the secrecy surrounding the “Fantastic” movies, little is known about his role. 

Mr. Depp, who has also starred in such blockbusters as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series and “Alice in Wonderland,” has reportedly been cast for an upcoming movie in the “Fantastic” series, though Deadline, for one, reports that Depp will pop up briefly in the first movie, which will be released later this month.

Depp joins such actors as Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, and Colin Farrell in the upcoming series, which is based in the world of the “Harry Potter” series. “Potter” author J.K. Rowling has written the screenplay for the first film and the first movie appears to center on the adventures of magical creatures expert Newt Scamander (Redmayne) after he travels to New York.

Because of the nature of the project, the lead-up to the release of the first “Fantastic” movie is very different for “Potter” fans. When the first “Potter” movie was released in 2001, four books had already been released, with “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” having been released the year before “Potter” debuted in theaters. Fans were already very familiar with such characters as Harry, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger.

By contrast, those behind the “Fantastic” movies are being very secretive about the story of the films. Reports about Depp’s casting don’t mention what role the actor will play, though many, of course, have guesses.

As for how the first “Fantastic” movie may compare to the “Potter” movies financially, Meriah Doty of TheWrap writes that “Fantastic” may have a lower opening weekend than the “Potter” movies but “not by much,” Ms. Doty writes. 

IGN writer Alex Gilyadov writes that if there is lower turnout at the box office, it could be because of “the five-year absence since the last ‘Harry Potter’ film and the fact that none of the franchise’s three main leads – Harry, Ron, and Hermione – are known to make an appearance in the spinoff.”

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